Lifelong Learning

Data Tracker on the Norwegian Labour Market

6 of 10 adults participate in learning activities

As the labor market continues to evolve at a rapid pace, lifelong learning has become an increasingly critical aspect of equipping the workforce with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed.

Data from the 2016 Adult Education Survey (AES) indicates that Norway has a high level of participation in lifelong learning, with approximately 6 out of 10 adults engaging in some form of learning activity. This places Norway among the top countries in terms of adult participation in lifelong learning, with a share that is 16 percentage points above the EU average. In comparison to other European countries for which data is available, Norway is ranked 4th in terms of participation rate.

The AES will next be published in 2023, collecting data through the Labour Force Survey (LFS), providing updated information on the landscape of lifelong learning.

Lifelong learning is a strategic priority for the EU and a key means for equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the changing labor market. The EU has set ambitious targets for increasing participation in learning activities, aiming for a participation rate of at least 47% by 2025 and 60% by 2030.

Note that the data from AES in 2016 is adjusted to be comparable to future data collection through the Labour Force Survey by excluding "guided on-the-job training’".

Lifelong learning for employed persons

More recent data on adult learning in Norway can be found in The Learning Conditions Monitor (LCM), conducted by Statistics Norway. This monitor provides a detailed and current look at adult learning in the country and is based on data collected through the Labour Force Survey. However, due to a revision of the LFS in 2021, there is a break in the time series and the data presented is not be directly comparable with that from previous years.

According to the 2021 LCM data, 23% of adults between the ages of 15-59 years participated in formal education, 6% of adults between the ages of 22-59 participated in formal supplementary education, and 35% of adults between the ages of 15-66 participated in non-formal education and training.

The monitor also includes data for employed persons by industry, allowing for a more in-depth examination of adult learning participation among those actively engaged in the labor market. The data shows that in Public Administration had the highest share of adults participating in non-formal education and training, while Accommodation and food service industry had the highest share of adults participating in formal education.

The monitor also shows that in many industries, a majority of the employed persons did not participate (in the last 12 months) in any form of formal or non-formal education or training. The non-participation rate was highest in the transportation and storage industry.

About the data

Data for Norway and EU countries is from the Adult Education Survey. Adjusted numbers from AES for 2016 can be found here.

Data from Norway for 2021 is from The Learning Conditions Monitor.

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